Writing – A Collection Of Tips
I now have a very solid idea for a novel. I can say this because I have been able to fuse together three separate ideas, all based on the same main theme together, which makes me really want to get down to business and start writing it. However, from my past experiences, I know that this is not the way to go about things, as it will eventually lead to failure. So I decided to do some searching on the net, just wanting to take things slowly and build up to it.
These ideas I’ve taken from multiple different pages, so no, they are not my ideas. However, I thought it would be good to group the ones that I think are relevant.
- However you get your idea, focus first on whether it’s a plot or a theme. Many times, an initial idea is really the underlying meaning of the story, what the author wants to convey to the reader. Themes should be universal in their appeal– such as friendship, appreciating one’s own strengths, not judging others too quickly. Then play around with the sequence of events until you develop a plot (what actually happens in the book) that makes this theme clear to the reader.
- The elements necessary for a good story: a believable main character who is faced with a problem or conflict, mounting tension as that character tries to solve her problem and experiences setbacks, and a tension-filled climax followed by a resolution that’s satisfying to the character and the reader.
- The thing to do is to pass on your Great Idea to characters. You must create a cast of characters and provide a background for each. Let them speak about it, believe in it and act on it. That will make your characters round and also keep you away from telling your idea to the reader (instead of showing it).
- You must do research so you know enough about the layout of the setting you have chosen.
- Creative Writing Journal and prompts: A creative writing journal may also be kept before an aspiring author begins a first short story, novel or other creative work as a way of developing writing skills. Keeping a journal helps authors get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Any kind of writing, such as journaling, helps develop good writing habits and skills which may prove to be useful later on.
- Describe in detail the season. What do you observe? What makes it different from any other time of year?
- Write down an emotion–then write about the last time you felt that emotion.
- Choose a general trait such as honesty, loyalty, and write about a person who possess that trait and the choices they would make in a fictional situation such as a hurricane or other natural disaster.
- Turn on the television and describe in detail the first three characters you see, whether they are in a sit-com or newscasters.
- Imagine and describe your dream home. What is the style? The setting?
- Find a picture of an interesting person in a magazine and, based on their expression, write a paragraph imagining what that person is thinking or feeling.
- Choose a colour. What emotion does it make you feel? Write a paragraph about that emotion.
- If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Would it make you happier?
- Describe the perfect pet–a cat, dog, or other animal. Describe its antics in detail.
- Imagine winning a trip to a tropical paradise. Describe it. If given the option would you stay there forever or come home? Explain your choice.
- Write about a hero or person you admire. What qualities do they have?
- Think about a person you don’t admire very much. Contrast their qualities to the person you admire. #11 and 12 are good exercises for developing hero and villain.
- Different types of fiction:
- Flash fiction is known mainly as extremely short fiction. Flash fiction is typically less than 1000 words. Words must be packed full of meaning and imagery. Even more than other forms, hard-working nouns and verbs are necessary with this type of prose. Like all forms of fiction, there should be a protagonist facing a conflict, followed by some sort of resolution.
- Short story fiction allows a little more time for development than does flash fiction. Short stories are usually less than 20,000 words but are longer than flash fiction. A short story will have the same elements as a flash fiction story: a protagonist, a conflict, and a resolution. Unlike other forms of fiction, however, there are usually no subplots and the plot is usually not overly complicated (that is not to say that the themes are not complex). A lot of short stories tend to have more of an introduction and background than does flash fiction.
- Novellas and novels are longer forms of fiction that must pace themselves – they can’t reveal everything right away, and they spend more time developing character and plot. They are meant to be taken in slowly, where a shorter story is meant to be enjoyed quickly. The author can slowly reveal various story elements with these longer forms. Novels are often very complex and contain multiple characters, many of them usually well-defined and three-dimensional. They also usually have more complex plots and subplots. There tends to be a more developed back story (even if not immediately revealed), and there may be more than one climax. The novel will often take its time exploring themes, developing character, and slowly but steadily approaching a climax.
So far those are the tips that have been unique and useful. If you know of others, send me links or comments so I can add them to this post so that myself and others can benefit from your wisdom!